Queenstown barman gets community work for attack on patron


A Queenstown barman found guilty of attacking a drunk patron has been sentenced to 100 hours’ community work.

Scotsman Graeme Derek Thorburn, 30, was charged with assault with intent to injure following an incident outside his workplace – Tardis Bar – on October 18 last year.

The man he assaulted never came forward to police so he remains unidentified.

Thorburn had pleaded not guilty but after viewing CCTV footage in Queenstown District Court yesterday, Judge Kevin Phillips found the charge had been made out and convicted him.

Camera footage from Cow Lane and outside the bar shows the victim first being pushed to the ground by another man and then dragged by his feet to the middle of Cow Lane. The man got up and went back to the bar entrance.

Thorburn is seen pushing the man after a lengthy discussion. The man fell to the ground and Thorburn strikes him about eight times to the head and upper body.

Police were informed about the attack by SkyCity Casino, who had viewed the footage.

Thorburn’s lawyer Mike Newell says the blows were “lateral and they weren’t full-force”, and he had reacted to verbal abuse by the man.

Judge Phillips told Thorburn: “I despise people who are in positions of power and working in bars who basically attack people. There was no excuse to treat him at all in the way that you did.”


Jodie Maree Buckland, 28, of Sunshine Bay, was convicted and fined $500 plus court costs and analysts’ fees for drink-driving on Gorge Road on August 8 last year. Buckland was found to have 104 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80mg. She was also disqualified from driving for six months.